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Memorials of Edinburgh in the Olden Time


352 MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH. sions, or swept away to make room for the formal streets and squares of the New Town; but these are the offspring of another parentage, though claiming a part among the memorials of the olden time. At the foot of Leith Wynd-and just without the ancient boundaries of the capital, lies an ancient suburb, which though at no time dignified by the abodes of the nobility, or even of citizens of note, was selected as the site of several early religious foundations that still confer some interest on the locality. The foot of the Wynd (the only portion which now remains) was remarkable as the scene of one of those strange acts of lawless violence, which were of such frequent occurrence in early times. John Graham, parson of Killearn, one of the supreme criminal Judges, having married the widow of Sandilands of Calder, instituted a vexatious law-suit against her son. The partizans of the latter probably considered it vain to compete with a lawyer at his own weapons, and his uncle, Sir James Sandilands, accompanied by a body of his friends and followers, lay in wait for the Judge on the 1st of February 1592, in the wynd, which then formed one of the principal avenues to the town, and avenged their quarrel by murdering him in open day, without any of the perpetrators being brought to trial or punishment.’ At the foot of the wynd stood the building known as Paul’s Work, rebuilt in 1619, on the site of an ancient religibus foundation. About the year 1479, Thomas Spence, Bishop of Aberdeen, founded an hospital there, for the reception and entertainment of twelve poor men, and dedicated it to the Virgin Mary, under the name of the Hospital of our Lady in Leith Wynd, and it subsequently received considerable augmentations to its revenues from other benefactors. It is probable that among these benefactions there had been a chapel or altar dedicated to St Paul, unless, indeed, this was included in the original charter of foundation.’ All these documents, however, are now lost, and we are mainly left to conjecture as to the source of the change of name which early took place. In 1582 the Common Council adapted this charitable foundation to the new order of things, and drew up statutes for the guidance. of the Bedemen, wherein it is required that, “in Religion they be na Papistes, bot of the trew Religi~n.”~S ubsequently the whole revenues were diverted to purposes never dreamt of by the pious founders. The buildings having probably fallen intp decay, were reconstructed as they now appear, and certain Dutch manufacturers were invited over from Delft, and established there for the instruction of poor girls and boys in the manufacturing of woollen stuffs. The influence of these strangers in their legitimate vocation failed of eEect, but Calderwood records in 1621, ‘‘ Manie of the profainner sort of the toun were drawen out upon the sixt of May, to May games in Gilmertoun and Rosseline; so profanitie began to accompanie superstition and idolatrie, as it hath done in former times. Upon the first of May, the weavers in St Paul’s Worke, Englishe and Dutche, set up a highe May pole, with their garlants and bells hanging at them, wherat was great concurse Arnot’s Criminal Trials, p. 174. “Feb. 7, 1696.-Reduction pursued by the Town of Edinburgh against Sir Wm. Binny, and other partnera of the Linen Manufactory in Paul’s Work, of the tack set to them of the same in 1683. Insisted lmo, that this house was founded by Thos. Spence, Bishop of Aberdeen, in the reign of King James II., for discipline and training of idle vagabonds, and dedicated to 9t Paul ; and by an Act of Council in 1626, was destinate aud mortified for educating boys in B woollen manufactory; and this tack had inverted the origiual design, contrary to the 6th Act of Parliament, 1633, discharging the sacrilegious inveraion of all pious donations.”-Fountainhall’s Decisions, vol. i. p. 709. “ There WM a hospital and chapel, dedicated to St Paul, in Edinburgh ; aud there waa in the chapel an altar and chaplainry conaecrated to the Virgin ; of which Sir William Knolls, the preceptor of Torphichen, claimed the patronage before the Privy Council, in 1495.”-ParI. Rec. 472. Caledonia, vol. ii. p. 471. * Maitland, pp. 468-9.
Volume 10 Page 385
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